PARIS – If love means never having to say you’re sorry, what about 6-love?
Depends which side of the French Open scoreboard you’re on, apparently.
Maria Sharapova feels not a shred of remorse about the way she’s been finishing off opponents quickly – a total of five games lost through three matches at Roland Garros this year, including a 6-0, 6-0 win in the first round.
The 27th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, meanwhile, was on the wrong end of a shutout set Saturday and decided he needed to apologize right then and there to the ticket-buyers in the seats at Court Suzanne Lenglen. Finally having won one game after losing the first eight against No. 6 David Ferrer of Spain, Youzhny used the toe of his right sneaker to carve a mea culpa in the red clay near the baseline.
He etched out “SORRi!” – stamping the dot atop the lowercase last letter for emphasis before heading to the sideline for a changeover.
“People in the stands may not have noticed, but I think I had to do this,” Youzhny said after his 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 loss.
Ferrer, who said he didn’t see Youzhny’s lettering, was part of Spain’s 5-0 showing on the day, led by Rafael Nadal, who continued his bid for a record seventh French Open title by overpowering Eduardo Schwank of Argentina 6-1, 6-3, 6-4.
The other Spaniards who moved on were No. 12 Nicolas Almagro, No. 13 Juan Monaco and No. 20 Marcel Granollers, a five-set winner against Paul-Henri Mathieu, the Frenchman who edged John Isner in an 18-16 fifth set in the second round.
The second-seeded Sharapova’s matches haven’t contained a shred of intrigue so far. Not surprisingly, that’s absolutely OK with her.
After a 6-2, 6-1 victory over No. 28 Peng Shuai put her in the fourth round, Sharapova had an easy answer. “The last thing that’s on my mind when I’m going out on court is thinking about who paid for a ticket and how long they’re going to watch my match for,” she said.